I. Interfecto Didio Iuliano Severus Africa oriundus 2imperium obtinuit. cui civitas Lepti, pater Geta, maiores equites Romani ante civitatem omnibus datam; mater Fulvia Pia, patrui magni1 Aper et Severus consulares, avus paternus Macer, maternus2 3Fulvius Pius fuere. ipse natus est Erucio Claro bis et 4Severo consulibus, VI idus Apriles. in prima pueritia, priusquam Latinis Graecisque litteris imbueretur, quibus eruditissimus fuit, nullum alium inter pueros ludum nisi ad iudices exercuit, cum3 ipse praelatis fascibus ac securibus ordine puerorum circumstante4 5sederet ac iudicaret. octavo decimo anno publice declamavit.5 postea studiorum causa Romam venit,
I. On the murder of Didius Julianus, Severus, a native of Africa, took possession of the empire. His native city was Leptis, his father was Geta;1 his ancestors were Roman knights before citizenship was made universal.2 Fulvia Pia was his mother, Aper and Severus, both of consular rank,3 his great-uncles. His father’s father was Macer, his mother’s father Fulvius Pius. He himself was born six days before8 Apr. 146 the Ides of April,4 in the first consulship of Severus and the second of Erucius Clarus. While still a child, even before he had been drilled in the Latin and Greek literatures (with which he was very well acquainted), he would engage in no game with the other children except playing judge, and on such occasions he would have the rods and axes borne before him, and, surrounded by the throng of children, he would take his seat and thus give judgments. In his eighteenth year he delivered an oration in public. Soon after, in order to continue his studies, he came to Rome; and with the support of his kinsman
- 1His full name was P. Septimius Geta, according to an inscription found at Cirta in Africa; see C.I.L., viii. 19493.
- 2Citizenship was granted to all the free inhabitants of the Empire, except the Dediticii and the Latini Tuniani, by an edict of Caracalla, Severus’ son, in 212.
- 3Aper was consul in some year under Pius; Severus is perhaps to be identified with the Severus who was consul in 155.
- 4His birthday was the 11th April, according to Dio, lxxvi. 17,4, and this date is confirmed by the Calendar of Philocalus (see C.I.L., i2, p. 262) and by inscriptions set up on this day; see C.I.L., xi. 1322; xiv. 168 and 169.